Data Aggregator Validation
More trusted and accurate clinical data for quality reporting.
The NCQA Data Aggregator Validation program evaluates clinical data streams to help ensure that health plans, providers, government organizations and others can trust the accuracy of aggregated clinical data for use in Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) reporting and other quality programs.
By validating a data stream with NCQA, you:
- Ensure data accuracy: NCQA’s Data Aggregator Validation program evaluates the ingestion, transformation and output of clinical data to help ensure data integrity.
- Save time: Data from health information exchanges (HIEs) and other data aggregators are increasingly used as supplemental data for HEDIS reporting. Data from data streams validated by NCQA can be used as standard supplemental data in HEDIS reporting, eliminating the need for primary source verification (PSV) during the HEDIS audit process. This saves time and money for aggregators, provider organizations and health plans.
- Support contracting: Contracting partners are looking for assurances that data they ingest is accurate. A validation from NCQA helps give your contracting partners more peace of mind and makes your data more valuable.
What is the Program Structure?
The Data Aggregator Validation program assesses two sets of standards looking at the ingestion, data management and output of clinical data:
- Process, System and Data standards: Assesses the processes, policies and procedures for ingesting, managing and aggregating data.
- Output Data Integrity standards: Assess the organization’s adherence to the NCQA Continuity of Care Document (CCD) Implementation Guide and primary source verification (PSV) by testing and reviewing CCD output files.
NCQA’s Data Aggregator Validation program takes up to 18 weeks to complete.
What is a data stream?
NCQA validates one or many clusters of clinical data that are ingested, processed and ultimately output as CCD files. NCQA evaluates data streams from the point of ingestion through the output of the CCD file, ensuring standards and protocols are met, and that data provided from the original source accurately reflect the data reported for use as standard supplemental data for HEDIS or for other quality programs.
Who is Eligible?
Any data stream that meets the standards of the program can be validated by NCQA.
The validated status is conferred to the data stream. Organizations that are responsible for certain standards as part of the validation will earn a Certified Data Partner status for Data Aggregator Validation and can advertise themselves as supporting the NCQA Data Aggregator Validation program.
There are two ways to get a data stream validated.
- Validate a stream as a sole responsible party: Organizations that perform all functions in the program requirements, including facilitating primary source verification, can act as the a sole responsible party for meeting validating a data stream by meeting all program standards.
- Work with a data partner: The aggregation of data sometimes involves multiple parties. For example, an organization might be responsible for the management of the data and output of the CCD file, but not have legal access to the primary source data to support PSV. In these cases, the organization that can facilitate PSV is the responsible party for the data stream, but they can partner with other organizations to validate a data stream.
How Do I Start?
Begin by purchasing the Data Aggregator Validation program manual and reviewing the standards.
NCQA is validating data streams through a series of cohorts. The first cohort began in July 2021 and validations will be awarded in the fall. To learn more, contact NCQA to speak to a program expert.
For more about the Data Aggregator Validation program, read our blog about Data Aggregator Validation Launches: Helps Ensure Accurate Clinical Data.